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Strickly Panthers: Kasay still getting his kicks


CHARLOTTE - Panthers kicker John Kasay and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre are tied for the longest tenure among NFL players with 20 seasons of service.

While indications are stronger than ever that Favre will retire for good after the season, Kasay looks as strong as ever.

Kasay, who turned 41 years old earlier this season, has displayed his continued leg strength by ranking as one of just eight kickers to connect on three field goals of 50 or more yards this season.

That's not the only category where Kasay ranks in the top 10, even with the Panthers offense struggling to score points.

Kasay is tied for eighth in the league with 24 field goals, even though Carolina is last in scoring. Four of the seven kickers ahead of him play for offenses ranked among the top 11 in scoring offense.

He's able to rank so high in part because of his continued accuracy. Kasay has missed just four field goals all season, giving him an 86-percent success rate that ranks ninth among kickers who have attempted 15 or more field goals through 15 games.

Kasay ranks seventh in NFL history with 432 made field goals and eighth with 1,819 points. He won't climb above anybody in those categories in the season finale at Atlanta, but he could break a second-place tie with Morten Anderson for field goals of 50 or more yards. Kasay has 40; all-time leader Jason Hanson has 45.

CLAUSEN'S POSTSEASON PLANS: Rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen has his top two priorities in order for after the season: getting his degree and getting healthy.

Clausen plans to attend classes at Notre Dame over the next couple of months in pursuit of his sociology degree, and he'll walk with his graduating class in May.

While studying, Clausen will get educated as to the best course of action for a foot injury that is hampering him. Clausen said that the toe he had surgically repaired a year ago "feels really good" but that the foot is now bothering him.

"I'm going to have to talk to my doctors and agent and see what the best thing to do is," Clausen said. "I'll probably take some time off and let my foot heal up while I'm in South Bend taking classes.

"Then I'll go back to California and start working out."

PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES: The Panthers have added offensive tackle Jacob Bender and linebacker Derrick Doggett to their practice squad.

Bender played six games for the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League this season before signing with the Washington Redskins practice squad. The 6-6, 316-pounder out of Nicholls State was a sixth-round draft pick of the New York Jets in 2007 and played two games for the Jets in '07.

Doggett signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to the 2010 season but was waived before training camp. The 6-2, 225-pounder out of Oregon State played in the Canadian Football League out of college – for the Edmonton Eskimos in 2008 and Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2009.

Carolina came into the week with an open spot on the eight-man squad after moving running back Rashawn Jackson up to the 53-man roster last week. Then on Monday, the team had another hole when the San Francisco 49ers signed linebacker Alex Joseph off the Panthers practice squad. 

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